MEXICO – The Poodunck Snowmobile Club and the Mexico Trailblazers will host the 16th annual Blessing of the Sleds at noon Feb. 9 at Mountain Valley Middle School.

According to Jon Holmes, president of the Poodunck Snowmobile Club, this year’s blessing will include a snowmobile swap shop.

“This is the first time we’ve done something like this,” Holmes said. “We’re allowing vendors and residents to bring anything snowmobile related to the blessing, free of charge, so they can either swap it or sell it to others.”

Holmes said Nick Brown of the Mexico Trailblazers initially thought of the idea for the swap shop.

“We all agreed that it would be a good way to get people to the event,” Holmes said.

While the blessing will begin at noon, Holmes said food cooked by members of the Poodunck Snowmobile Club will be served starting at 10:30 a.m.

“We’ll have sausage sandwiches with onions and peppers, the kind that you get at festivals and carnivals,” Holmes said. “Plus, we’ll have our famous, homemade, hand-cut French fries for sale.”

Holmes said he’s hopeful that the lack of snow over the last two weeks won’t impede the blessing’s turnout.

“Hopefully, we get a bunch of snow before Saturday,” Holmes said. “The trails really could use it, but I think people will still find a way to make it over. Some people will bring their snowmobiles by car.”

The Poodunck Snowmobile Club and Mexico Trailblazers will also be selling blessing sweatshirts as a way to raise money for both clubs.

“Every year, the sweatshirts we sell have new logos on the front,” Holmes said. “On the back of the sweatshirts, we allow businesses to buy ad space, either big or small. This year, we sold nine big ads and 48 small ones. I know the economy isn’t booming right now, but the donations that businesses give around here are mind-boggling.”

Holmes said the sweatshirts are a popular element of the blessing. People “can’t go many places in the community without seeing somebody wearing one,” he said.

“The Blessing of the Sleds is a major fundraiser for us, and the sweatshirts are a big part of it,” Holmes explained. “We have the snow dance, which raises between $500 and $1,000, but the blessing is a huge thing. Last year, we brought in $6,000, where $3,000 went to Poodunck and $3,000 went to the Mexico Trailblazers. We’re expecting to bring in about the same amount this year.”

The money will go toward maintaining the safety of the trails, Holmes said.

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